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1 August 2014

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Porthminster Beach Cafe - Porthminster_2010_-JonBeach4_WEB.jpgIt may be better known for its pasties, ice creams and saffron cake but Cornwall is a beautiful, sprawling county packed with great places to eat. Whether it’s a remote beachside shack serving the freshest seafood or a top-end, fine dining experience, the region has plenty to suit every taste and budget. Throw into the mix a rising number of farmers’ markets, delicatessens, farm shops and excellent producers, microbreweries and cider makers, and it’s not hard to see why Cornwall is one of Britain’s top holiday destinations for foodies.

Driftwood Hotel, Portscatho

High on the clifftops overlooking Gerrans Bay, the restaurant attached to this stylish boutique hotel majors on local produce – including crabs and lobsters caught in the waters below. Chef Chris Eden has won much acclaim for dishes such as roast cod with samphire, brown shrimps, Fowey mussels and shellfish bisque.

fifteen cornwall 2012 - Fifteen-Cornwall_2012_resizewd.jpgFifteen Cornwall, Newquay (pictured, left)

The Cornish outpost of Jamie Oliver’s charitable set-up for apprentice chefs, Fifteen has breathtaking views across Watergate Bay and enjoyable, rustic Italian-inspired food to match. Cornish produce makes up around 80 per cent of the ingredients, with local fishermen delivering daily. A great all-day venue for families with young children, too.

The Herring at Bedruthan Steps, Mawgan Porth

Part of an award-winning hotel, this new seafood restaurant is a welcome pit stop for residents as well as coastal path walkers. Local ingredients are given an Asian twist – try an Indonesian-style red curry of cod cheeks and scallops or wild sea bass with Thai chilli salad and white crab fritters.

Kota, Porthleven

Perched on the edge of Porthleven’s picturesque harbour, Kota has become one of the must-visit seafood restaurants in Cornwall. Half Maori, one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter Malaysian – chef Jude Kereama is a master of fusion cooking and makes the most of Cornish fish, as in turbot paired with crab cakes and clams.

new yard 2012 - newyard_2012_resized.jpgThe New Yard Restaurant, Mawgan (pictured)

Occupying an old coach house in the stable yard of the Trelowarren Estate, this light and airy restaurant sources 90 per cent of its produce from within a 15-mile radius. The result is a daily changing menu that namechecks the best local suppliers, from Mr Retallack’s steaks to Rodda’s cream.

Old Coastguard, Mousehole

Now in the hands of the dynamic team behind the Gurnard’s Head at Treen, this seafront hotel overlooks the unspoiled fishing village of Mousehole. As you tuck into crab chowder or slow-cooked lamb shoulder, enjoy spectacular views across Mount’s Bay from the restaurant or the enclosed sub-tropical garden.

Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow

It takes a brave chef to open a restaurant in Rick Stein’s Padstow – mind you, Paul Ainsworth has worked under the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing. A restored townhouse with a warren of cosy rooms is the setting for modern British dishes such as gilthead bream with crab ravioli.

Porthminster Beach Cafe - Porthminster_2010_-porthminster_051_WEB.jpgPorthminster Beach Café, St Ives (pictured, left)

Quite literally on the beach with views across St Ives Bay, Porthminster Café is still the must-visit restaurant in this arty coastal resort. Now open all year round for morning coffee through to dinner, it gives local seafood a global twist in dishes such as local mackerel with pork-belly wontons.

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock

The only venue in Cornwall with two Michelin stars to its name, Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous restaurant attracts foodies from all over with exquisite dishes such as spider crab with cucumber and dill. With just 24 seats, booking is essential if you want to experience some of the finest seafood cookery in Britain.

Rick Stein’s Fish & Chips, Falmouth

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a trip to Rick Stein’s flagship Padstow restaurant, head to its more affordable Falmouth sibling. This bustling chippie/restaurant is the place to get stuck into plates of battered local fish cooked in beef dripping, washed down with pints of Chalky’s Bite beer.

by Mark Taylor

Find bars and pubs in Cornwall.

This feature was published in July 2012.

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